Battle of boffins over OU lecturer

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A battle between boffins at the city’s Open University and an esteemed Cambridge Institute is set to blight the beginning of the new study year.

The academic altercation concerns a professor’s claim that OU research affiliate Dr Constantinos Athanasopoulos could be “unfit to teach”.

The philosophy expert, who strongly refutes the claim, was made redundant from his previous job at the Institute of Orthodox Christian Studies, affiliated to Cambridge University.

Last week an industrial tribunal ruled it to be a wrongful dismissal. The Institute claimed he had committed a “gross misdemeanor” by threatening to sabotage the Institute’s Distance Learning Programme .

This week his previous boss, Professor David Frost, wrote to the Open University expressing concern that the doctor was still working there.

He said: “We are in a general way concerned at the continuing appointment of someone who has been accused for a year of having destroyed his employer’s educational function.

“It may be old fashioned to suggest that a person capable of such an action, in blind disregard of the students in his charge, is unfit to teach.”

Dr Athanasopoulos said: “The claims made by the Institute are all unsubstantiated.

“I am a very experienced and distinguished teacher with more than 20 years of academic teaching experience.

“I am really surprised that Professor Frost has taken this action. I will be discussing this with my lawyers.”